Last Known “Pink Triangle” Holocaust Survivor Dies

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2011

Rudolf Brazda, who is believed to be the last surviving gay Holocaust survivor, has died at the age of 98. The Berlin branch of the Lesbian and Gay Association said that he died on Wednesday. He died peacefully in his sleep in a nursing home, where he resided since last June.

Born in 1913, Brazda grew up in Meuselwitz near the Czech border, where he frequently ran into trouble with local authorities over his homosexuality. Meuselwitz later became the site for a subcamp for the Buchenwald concentration camp. Brazda spent three years from 1942 through 1945 at Buchenwald, after having been convicted of homosexuality by the Nazis as a “repeat offender.” After the war, he moved to the Alsace region of eastern France. Last year, he co-authored Itinerary of a Pink Triangle about his internment, forced labor, beatings, and harassment. The book is not yet available in English.

During the Nazi regime, an estimated 54,000 men were arrested by the Nazis under Paragraph 175, the criminal code which outlawed male homosexuality. Upwards of 15,000 of them were sent to concentration camps, where it is estimated that approximately 60% died. The end of the war meant liberation for the much larger interned populations of Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Russians, and other undesirables, but allied forces often returned gay men to post-war prisons to continue to serve out their terms. Homosexuality wasn’t formally decriminalized in Germany until 1994.

Brazda’s funeral will be held on Monday. In accordance with his will, Brazda’s remains will be cremated and his ashes placed alongside those of Edward Meyer, his life partner of more than 50 years who died in 2003.

Earlier this year, Brazda was awarded France’s Legion of Honor. An interview with Brazda was posted on YouTube last October.

William

August 4th, 2011

You misspelled “triangle” in your heading.

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2011

Thanks.

james

August 4th, 2011

May I suggest all readers of BTB pause at noon local time on Monday for 60 seconds, 54 seconds in memory of all the Pink Triangle men, 6 seconds for Ghana, Uganda, Iran, and any others under threat of their life today. It is good for us to remember and important for us not to forget.

AJD

August 4th, 2011

“Repeat offender” — why does term sound familiar, I wonder?

RobNYNY1957

August 4th, 2011

Paragraph 175,the German criminal law against male sodomy, was originally adopted at the founding of the German Empire in 1871 from prior Prussian law. Male sodomy was not illegal in most of the other German states, and lesbian sex was never illiegal in modern Germany. Coverage of Paragraph 175 was expanded and penalties were increased in the Nazi era. In West Germany, it was the only criminal law of the Nazi era that was not abolished or returned to pre-Nazi form shortly after World War II. Sex acts between consenting adult men became legal in communist East Germany in 1968, and in capitalist West Germany in 1969, when in both countries Paragraph 175 was reduced to covering male pedophilia. Paragraph 175 was finally completely abolished in 1994 after reunification of Germany.

BlackDog

August 4th, 2011

Both of my grandfathers were World War II veterans, it’s sad that we’re reaching the last words on that page of history. We cannot forget those who lived through that time or the things they went through, nor allow the rest of the world to forget the lessons those people taught us.

To do any less gives American wannabe Christian Dominionist fascists, Ugandan Anti-gay psychos, Murderous Right-wing killers, and all those sorts all the more room to do what they do.

I feel that I’ve seen in the last few years a resurgence of all the very things my grandparents…who lived through the Depression, World War II, the bad parts of the Cold War, Vietnam & the 60’s generally…taught me were wrong.

It wasn’t that they started out being against things like income inequality, misuse of religion, polarizing politics and war, life experience taught them that these were bad things, and I have to wonder sometimes if those who claim to be conservatives these days and seem to want to undo the whole of the 20th century ever listened to their grandparents.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1895: Oscar Wilde Enters Bankruptcy

This Month In History, 1919: A Plea From An Invert

Born On This Day, 1966: Sean Patrick Maloney

Orlando-Area Republicans Back LGBT Protections

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Emphasis Mine

This Month In History, 1958: "My Daughter Is a Lesbian!"

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.